Restaurant owners in Doña Ana County choose to opt-out of soft reopening

New Mexico News

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KFOX14) — Restaurants across New Mexico are allowed to open up their patios on Wednesday, but many businesses in Doña Ana County are choosing to stay closed. Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham has asked restaurants in Doña Ana County not to participate in this soft opening, and wait to open at 50 percent capacity on Monday, June 1, due to how fast the coronavirus is spreading in our area.

If you live in Las Cruces, you’ll notice a lot of restaurants are choosing to comply.

“When the governor said, ‘You know what, can Doña Ana County please maintain being closed until the 1st?’ We were all really in support of that,” Marci Dickerson, the owner of The Game Sports Bar and Grill said.

Dickerson is spending the next few days bringing her staff back to work. They spent their day cleaning and preparing her restaurants to open back up on Monday at 50% capacity.

“To be able to open us up at 50 percent really is a sign that New Mexico is moving forward in a much-needed fashion,” Dickerson said.

Tom Hutchinson, the owner of La Posta and Hacienda de Mesilla also has decided to wait till June 1 to open his doors. “We’re really focused on opening up on the first, doing it right, being effective and minimizing any issues associated with reopening,” Hutchinson said. He said the decision was not only to comply with the governor’s suggestion, but he didn’t feel his restaurants were quite ready to open for dine-in yet.

“We applauded her for giving us the opportunity to open a little early, starting today with outdoor dining, but the reality is a lot of us weren’t probably in a position to do it anyway,” Hutchinson said.

Russell Hernandez, the owner of Salud de Mesilla agrees. He said knowing that there’s a set date to reopen on June 1, feels like a light at the end of the tunnel.

“It’s super exciting right now to have the opportunity to welcome our guests back when we haven’t seen them for so long in our buildings per say, they’ve still been joining us, but car side isn’t quite the same,” Hernandez said.

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